The Ronna Romney Revolt at MSNBC Echoes the Tom Cotton Times Turmoil

March 30th, 2024 4:00 PM

The turmoil at MSNBC over the hiring of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel says everything Americans need to know about this cable "news network." This episode echoes the earlier craziness inside the woke walls of The New York Times. A staff revolt forced an ejection.

Recall: The Times Op-Ed page editor, one James Bennet -- the brother of liberal Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) -- allowed a submitted op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to be published. The piece called for sending in National Guard troops to quell the riots that had broken out in hundreds of American cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd involving a Minnesota police officer.

The staff of the Times went crazy. They demanded Bennet’s head -- and they got it, with the Times publisher forcing Bennet out.

Now comes MSNBC.  Parent company NBC, the oldest major broadcast network (1926) in America - once home to people who spoke of the need for objectivity and fairness, like Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert, hired now-former Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel to be a commentator. It's pretty standard practice in the world of television news. See former DNC chair Donna Brazile, for example.

But all of a sudden, as at the Times, the staff of on-air talent openly, loudly and live on-air…. rebelled. They castigated their bosses for hiring “election denier” McDaniel, who had questioned the 2020 election results in her home state of Michigan. They threw such a tantrum that McDaniel, after one 20-minute grilling by Kristen Welker on Meet the Press, was abruptly canned.

After his own dismissal, Times editor Bennet penned a behind-the scenes tale of what happened in the Cotton Op-Ed episode, publishing it here at The Economist. His headline: 

When the New York Times lost its way

America’s media should do more to equip readers to think for themselves

Among other things Bennet said this:

Are we truly so precious?” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, asked me one Wednesday evening in June 2020. I was the editorial-page editor of the Times, and we had just published an op-ed by Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, that was outraging many members of the Times staff. 

…The next day the Times’s union—its unit of the NewsGuild-CWA—would issue a statement calling the op-ed “a clear threat to the health and safety of the journalists we represent."

In other words? In other words whether it’s The New York Times or MSNBC, both are staffed not by serious journalists but rather far left-wing activists masquerading as journalists. They aren’t about just-the-facts journalism with discussion provided by various players of the day on all sides. They are in fact about authoritarian-style far left-wing activism. And if they don’t for some reason get their way, then there will be hell to pay. Their "safety" was endangered.

One and all involved in these episodes are clueless that in their aggressive intolerance of an opposing viewpoint, they have seriously damaged their own reputations as supposed “journalists.”

The MSNBC episode is particularly hilarious. They decried McDaniel because she was a supposed “election denier” about some of the results in 2020. 

Yet these are the self-same people who spent endless hours as themselves “election deniers” of the 2016 results. They spent the Trump years repeatedly declaiming that there had been a Trump-Russia collusion that stole the 2016 election and that Trump was, in Hillary Clinton’s words, an “illegitimate president.”

In the day, National Review headlined this of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough: 

Scarborough Calls Russiagate Skeptics ‘Useful Idiots,’ Suggests They’re on the Kremlin Payroll 

In capital letters PoliticusUSA headlined: 


And there was MSNBC’s Chuck Todd writing this: Trump-Russia collusion “remains one of the biggest political scandals in generations.”

In other words, true to the MSNBC form, Scarborough, Maddow and Todd were thorough-going “election deniers.” 

Raising the obvious question: If Ronna McDaniel had to be fired for being an “election denier” - why not Scarborough, Maddow and Todd? Election deniers one and all - and for years. They would answer with January 6. It didn't matter that McDaniel denounced the rioting.

These people are still there because in the world of left-wing activism anything and everything that questions Trump is heroic, whether or not it's accurate.

In fact, the reason Republican McDaniel is not allowed on the air but supposed “Republicans” like Michael Steele (himself a former RNC Chair) and ex-Bush White House aide Nicolle Wallace are is because they are Never Trumpers.

In short, whether it’s The New York Times or MSNBC and doubtless other supposedly “mainstream media” outlets they aren’t about journalism at all. They are, as noted, nothing more or less than far left-wing activists. And ohhh so precious. Not to mention it looks authoritarian.

And in the case of MSNBC?  Over at the Daily Beast was this headline: MSNBC’s On-Air Revolt Did Little to Boost Ratings. And why might that be? Maybe because half the country won’t sit still and watch left-wing activists do a poor imitation of serious journalism.